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Mariner students shine in Edison science, inventor fairs

By Staff | Feb 11, 2010

Students at Mariner High School recently took home top awards at both the Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventor fairs.
The high school recently opened its Math, Science and Technology Academy — a rigorous, hands-on academic program preparing students for post-secondary studies — and has more students than ever submitting projects and inventions to be judged by industry professionals.
“We really put a push on the science at Mariner for our kids,” said Kimberly Verblaauw, assistant principal for curriculum at Mariner High.
The Inventors Fair started in 1988 and challenges students’ entrepreneurial spirit to create something new and innovative. Students are judged by originality, usefulness, safety, effectiveness, research, marketability and they are required to complete a log book, she said.
Verblaauw said the students had to present their invention at the regional fair and the winners included Brandi Shulte with “The Collapsible Juice Box,” Bernie Chavez for the “Doggie Light Jacket,” Gage Hamm for “Bright Books,” Karen Ambrose for “The Music Cup Stand” and Alexa Macri for “The Fingerprint Locker.”
This school year was the second time Mariner High students competed in the science fair as well, she said. Ten students brought home awards in 2009.
“The science fair is something we have done this year because of the MST program, but last year our students won as well,” said Verblaauw.
Competitors for the science fair attended an awards ceremony at Florida Gulf Coast University Wednesday night to hear the regional winners for 2010.
Winners from Mariner High included Lissette Ortiz and Angela Minich, second place for “Tech Savvy;” Kayshel Trudell and Tori Webb-Martin, second place for “Soil Erosion;” Alexa Macri, Amanda Yoho and Monica Amaya, an honorable mention for “Giant Water Bugs;” and Adam Arel, Nicole La Rosa and Tyler Gianfrancesco, a U.S. Army certificate and honorable mention for “Ballistics.”
Some students may choose to enter national competitions such as the Intel Science Talent Search or the Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition. These competitions require students to produce 20-page research papers and present all of their findings in person, said Verblaauw.
Next year students at Mariner High’s MST academy will have to do a senior project that is comprehensive enough to be submitted to a national competition where they are eligible to earn thousands of dollars in scholarships.
For more information about the school’s MST academy, visit www.marinermst.net.